We are Sandra and Norm Johnson, proprietors, breeders and chief decision makers, focused on establishing practices that produce exceptional alpacas at Chimera Ranch. We have each spent the past 30+ years in the information technology arena helping other companies succeed. Our story is no different than millions of people around the world today. We were tired of our efforts enabling success for someone else, while we watched the daily cutbacks, felt the reduction of benefits and endured the changes in pay and benefit schedules. The loyalty that big companies used to have for their employees was dwindling.
At the same time, the economy challenges saw years of savings and investments, disappear rapidly. The reality we faced was that we were 3 - 5 years from retirement and we were financially no closer than we had been 15 years prior. There is a saying in the world we live, IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME. We decided that it was time to find a way to invest in ourselves and a set of assets that could secure the lifestyle that we had often discussed and dreamed about. We just weren't sure what area that investment should be in.
Sandra's sister had left Arizona and moved to Colorado to raise alpacas. We decided we needed a vacation, so we arranged some time to go visit them. The time also correlated with one of the greatest alpaca shows in the country, the Great Western Alpaca Show in Denver. Norm had grown up in a farming community so livestock were no stranger to him. What neither of us realized was the great investment opportunity that the Alpaca presented. We were overwhelmed with the pure beauty of these animals, but as we spoke to different breeders and owners, we were in awe of the lifestyles that their alpacas were affording them. We had identified where to make investments for the future, the livestock known as the alpaca.
We left GWAS an alpaca owner and have never looked back. We decided to invest in ourselves and Chimera Ranch by taking a loan against our 401K and paying ourselves the interest. This was a greater return on the money than the funds managers were generating. With this loan we purchased some more alpacas and are very excited with what the future holds for them and Chimera Ranch.
We will always be grateful to the alpaca community for all the coaching and mentoring that they have provided as we created our business plan, selected our first alpacas and created a foundation herd for our business' future.